By J.D. Holloway
I spent 4 months in New Caledonia in 1971 with the thing of creating a quantitative survey of the night-flying macrolepidoptera with light-traps and an review of the Rhopalocera and microlepidoptera. This fieldwork used to be financed via a central authority Grant-in-Aid for medical Investigations adminis tered through the Royal Society, and by means of a provide from the Godman Fund. I dedicated one other 3 weeks to sampling on Norfolk I. , and, with assistance from neighborhood naturalists, Mr. and Mrs. F. JOWETT, used to be capable of produce a close account of the biogeography and ecology of the moth fauna (HOLLOWAY, 1977). This booklet is an account of the result of the hot Caledonian paintings, including stories of the geology, phytogeography and common zoogeography pre sented as history for the Lepidoptera fauna and its geography. earlier paintings at the macroheterocera, essentially papers by means of VIETTE (1948- 1971), had recorded no longer many greater than 100 species, a truly low overall contemplating the realm of the island relative to that of the Fiji crew the place the moths have been being studied by way of Dr. G. S. ROBINSON while the hot Caledonian excursion used to be on the drawing board. The Fijian fauna then promised think of ably to exceed 300 species. obviously many extra species awaited discovery in New Caledonia.
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Additional info for A Survey of the Lepidoptera, Biogeograhy and Ecology of New Caledonia
Records from Antarctica, notably Seymour I. (CRANWELL, 1974b), the McMurdo Sound (McINTYRE & WILSON, 1966) and Prydz Bay (KEMP, 1972) reveal a flora for that time including such taxa as Nothofagus, the conifers Acmopy/e, Podocarpus, Dacrydium and Phyllocladus, Proteaceae such as Knightia, Drimys (Winteraceae), Lauraceae and Laure/ia (Monimiaceae). Acmopy/e is now only found in New Caledonia and Fiji. Palaeocene sediments from a borehole now at 11 0 S on the Ninetyeast Ridge contained carbonaceous and lignitic clays and sands interbedded with volcanoclastics.
Links between South America, Australia and New Zealand generally appear to postdate those between these lands and Africa when the morphology of the organisms is considered. RAVEN & AXELROD (1974) suggested that contacts between Africa and Australia persisted until -100 my and thence may have diminished rather than ceasing abruptly, for there could have been subsequent archipelagic connections via Madagascar, India and the Kerguelen Plateau as suggested in Figure 1, showing a -75 my reconstruction of the geography of the southern hemisphere.
There were no dipterocarps or Pandanaceae. The Neogene floras were more typically Asian with dipterocarps occurring in southern India in the Miocene. Present day podocarps in India are probably of Malesian derivation. Biological exchange with Asia was therefore possible from the Late Oligocene at least. However, the Siwalik flora (S. Himalaya, Miocene to Pliocene) is indicative of a dry interior to the continent at that time (AXELROD, 1974) which may have precluded significant radiation of Asian rainforest and its associated fauna in India.